If the White House Doesn’t Care, Why Are Republicans Walking the Plank on Health Care Again?

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short and White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney made the rounds on the Sunday shows and made clear that the White House is fine with a tax bill that doesn’t include a repeal of the individual mandate, which would result in a loss of coverage for 13 million Americans and double digit premium increases for millions more according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The comments suggest that the White House won’t be in the business of providing political cover to Congressional Republicans if the mandate repeal goes through and millions lose health care while millions more pay higher costs.

Short told ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos, “The White House is very comfortable with the House bill… As you know, it does not have the individual mandate in it.” Mulvaney, meanwhile, told CBS Face the Nation host David Muir that “if [the mandate repeal] needs to come out in order for [the tax bill] to pass, we can live with that” and told CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper that “if [the mandate repeal] an impediment” to passing the tax bill, “we’re okay with taking it out.”

“First and foremost, Republicans should be wary of going forward with sneaky repeal in their tax bill because it will rip coverage away from 13 million people and raise premiums by double digits for millions more,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “But now, the White House has made clear they’re fine if the provision gets dropped and will leave Members twisting in the wind should repeal stay in the bill and millions be harmed. After a year when Republicans have taken one unpopular and failed vote on health care after another at President Trump’s insistence, why in the world would they walk the plank on this issue again just to have it sawed off behind them by the White House?”